One of the things that I’m keen to get off the ground here at ISC is the measurement of quality. In the past few weeks since I’ve arrived, a lot of talk has been bandied about regarding quality, and specifically, improving it. Now, I’ve got some definite ideas about how to move towards that goal, and I know there is a lot of impetus behind getting that effort moving as soon as possible, but I also think it’s hugely important for us to take a little bit of time to measure where we are right now. To that end, in addition to coming up to speed on the various products here, I’m also focusing on the idea of quality measurement itself. That is, if someone says to me that a product has high quality, what exactly do they mean by that? What units are they measuring the quantity “quality” with? In order to truthfully say “We’ve improved quality,” we have to have a yardstick by which to measure that improvement.
At my past jobs testing software, and managing groups of testers, a lot of lip service was paid to “quality,” yet never did anyone actually measure it. Usually because we were running around like the proverbial chickens with our heads cut off, trying to make code shipment deadlines, test last-minute changes to features, prepare release notes, massage the test result matrices intro place, placate the product managers, etc. This time, however, things are going to be different. This time I’m starting with more or less of a clean slate (although there is the usual inheritance of The Way Things Are And Always Have Been). Given the general climate of change-in-progress occurring right now, what better time to invest in gathering some simple quality metrics that we can use as a benchmark for future improvement?
Stay tuned. Tons more to come.